WATLINGTON TOWN suffered their first defeat in more than a month with a 4-1 loss at home to Eynsham in Division 1 of the Oxfordshire Senior League.
The visitors started brightly and opened the scoring within two minutes when the ball was squeezed past Paddy Sunderland in the Watlington goal from close range.
Things went from bad to worse for the home side minutes later when an unlucky bounce evaded Watlington’s back four and the loose ball was bundled home to make it 2-0.
Despite further pressure from Eynsham, Watlington composed themselves and thought they had pulled themselves a goal back when Pete Ashman’s header was controversially ruled offside.
Soon after Ashman did score a goal that stood as he volleyed home past the stranded Eynsham keeper.
Watlington started the second half brightly but any chance of a comeback was put to bed five minutes in when a skilful swivel and shot from the edge of the box crept into the corner of the Watlington goal. Soon after Eynsham made it 4-1 when a cross from the right hand side was met with a volley to match.
WATLINGTON TOWN RESERVES matched North Oxford Reserves throughout last Saturday’s Oxfordshire Senior League Division 3 clash but were undone by two dead balls — a goal direct from a corner and a late penalty.
The visitors came close to picking up points as a new-look line-up featuring four new players matched their table-topping hosts all the way.
Ben and Jon Little came into the squad along with debutants for this season Martyn Appleby and Alex B’layachi, with new boys Dave Hansford and Steve Abbott coming on from the bench.
It was a strong-looking side but the visitors were powerless to stop North Oxford taking the lead direct from a corner as a curled ball sailed over the top of everyone and just inside the far post after just five minutes.
Town responded well and Sam Carter in particular gave the hosts problems with his marauding runs and energy, which was duly recognised with the man-of-the-match award. The visitors won numerous free kicks for late challenges but were unable to take advantage of any of the opportunities that came their way.
Trailing 1-0 at the break Town were matching the hosts well and eventually got an equaliser midway through the second half when B’layachi broke down the left wing and his cross was met first-time on the volley by Ben Little, whose strike looped over the goalkeeper and into the roof of the net.
As Town looked to press on for a winner, they were undone at the other end when the North Oxford striker was upended in the box and the resulting penalty was fired past keeper Denham to restore the hosts’ advantage late on.